Regular touches of maternal hands reduce the level of stress hormones in a child’s body, promote weight gain and even increase immunity, according to modern studies. The Institute for the Study of Touches at the Medical University of Miami (USA) proved that preventive massage has a positive effect on the baby’s body: it stimulates the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, as well as the circulatory system.
A study was conducted in which forty premature babies were given a simple massage consisting of simple strokes. These children were 47% better at gaining weight, falling asleep faster, sleeping better and showing greater attentiveness than children from another group in which the massage was not performed.
Yuriy Smolkin considers preventive massage to be one of the most important elements of child care and advises starting it from the first days of a baby’s life. In his opinion, any family member can cope with a massage (and this does not have to be a mother).
It is worth contacting professional nurses only when the child has serious health problems – in all other cases, you can do it yourself.
Before starting the massage, rinse the baby and gently pat his body with a towel. Baby’s skin should be clean and dry. Moisture should be avoided because the tap water contains various harmful elements that will get into the baby’s body when rubbed.
You can not massage if the baby’s skin is dirty or irritated.
Touch should be gentle and gentle. Hands should be warm – their temperature should not differ from the temperature of the child’s body.
Otherwise, the massage will turn into stress for him. Before the session, remove watches and jewelery from your hands – so as not to damage the delicate skin of the child.
Massage should be carried out in 30-40 minutes after feeding, when the baby is full and calm.
For a better slip of the hands and reduce pressure on the body of the child should use mineral massage oil. For example, Johnson’s Baby. In Soviet times, it was believed that it was better to use natural products, such as sunflower or olive oil.
However, it is not safe: whatever the degree of purification, the proteins of the original product (olives or sunflower seeds), which may cause allergies, may remain in the oil.
Start the massage should be with the head. Gently, with the very tips of your fingers, massage the face and neck of the baby (you should be careful with fontanelles). Then, gently stroke the ears, eyebrows line – from the nose to the temples, nose wings and lips.
Go to the stomach. The abdomen should be massaged with a gentle stroking motion clockwise. Do not affect the liver area (under the ribs on the right side).
Next, gently massage the breast, avoiding the nipple area. We move from the center to the sides, we do not make a chest.
Go to the brushes. Massaging in a circular motion, putting the thumb of his hand in the palm of the baby. Press lightly.
Then we massage each finger individually, clasping it with the thumb and forefinger at the base and moving towards the tip.
Pens . Grasp the brush and lift the handle up. We stroke from the outside in and direction from the hand to the shoulder.
Legs. Holding the foot, raise the leg and in the direction from the foot to the thigh gently massage the outer side of the thigh and lower leg.
Feet. Gentle stroking movements knead the upper side of the leg, ankle and sole. Then each finger separately.
The workshop leader is Yury Solomonovich Smolkin, professor, MD, vice president of the Association of Pediatric Allergists and Immunologists of Russia, member of the advisory council of JOHNSON’S® BABY.